Filed under: Comment, Jill, Love, Mum, Mum & Dad, My Fatherhood, Otis, Parents
So yesterday went pretty well.
No one quit [yet] and everyone seemed to get along.
In some respects, that might be the most successful thing I’ll have achieved with The Kennedys.
Today we’re going to talk about emotion and the power it has over us.
I bring this up because on my holiday, I went to see some of my Italian family and I have to say that the whole thing was very emotional for me.
Part of this was because I stayed in the house, in the small town, in the small province where my Mum lived.
It was a place my Mum always regarded as incredibly special and important to her and to be there – with my family for the first time – was incredibly emotional for me.
Seeing my son run around a home that my Mum had run around as a child was both wonderful to see and hard to take.
Without doubt she would have been so very, very happy we were there, I just wish she was there to see it.
I looked at everything differently while I was there.
Everywhere I went I tried to imagine Mum as a child playing in the streets, visiting the park that she eventually took me to as a child [and that I took Otis too], laughing with her friends.
When I stood on one of the old houses balcony’s, I kept thinking Mum had done the same thing at one time.
In some ways, it made me feel I was near her again … that I had ‘brought her home’ and I loved that, though it also meant the rawness of her loss came to the surface again.
While I was there I met some of Mum’s school friends.
Some I had met before, some I hadn’t.
To hear them talk so wonderfully about my Mum really got to me.
It’s not that those words hadn’t been said by others before, it was just that these people knew my Mum in a way few did – certainly not me – and somehow that meant their words had even more power.
It was a privilege to be there and I am so glad I was able to bring my new family together with my old, but I don’t mind telling you I was emotionally exhausted when I left.
But there’s one story I want to talk about, because it’s a story I’m going to be telling The Kennedys students about today.
While I was in Italy, one of my relations showed me a bunch of old photographs.
One was of my family home in Nottingham and when I turned the photo over to see if had been dated, I saw this …
That’s my Dad’s writing.
Writing I had not seen for a long, long time.
And I have to say, it knocked me sideways.
I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Running my finger across it.
Like standing on that balcony in Mum’s family home, this writing suddenly made me feel close to my Dad again.
Not just emotionally, but physically.
It didn’t matter it was just an address.
It didn’t matter it was so old, I’m guessing it was when Mum & Dad had just moved into the area given he had spelt ‘Bridgford’ incorrectly.
It was my Dad and this had moved him from my past into my present.
And that was an amazing feeling. A precious, amazing feeling.
Now that’s what I call a real family holiday.
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